Extra Extra : Military

DOD, service weapons missing from local departments

KCRA-Sacramento found that police sometimes lose track of handguns, rifles and military surplus rifles.

The investigation shows the Stockton Police Department lost track of two M-16 rifles that were a part of the Department of Defense’s 1033 program. Stockton was suspended from the program after losing the rifles.

The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department was similarly suspended. The department maintains its weapons losses were due to a clerical issue and that the weapons didn’t end up on the streets.

VA records show veteran rescheduled appointment after death

A delay in care at the Minneapolis VA led to the death of a young Marine, according to a report by KARE-Minneapolis. The veteran’s medical records also appear to have been falsified after his death. An FBI investigation was launched this week in repose to the station’s most recent report and previous reports in which VA whistleblowers claim they were ordered to regularly falsify patient data to meet performance measures.

San Diego school district gets armored vehicle through 1033 Program

Why did the San Diego Unified School District acquire an armored vehicle? According to inewsource, when the mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle (MRAP) became available through the Department of Defense’s Excess Property Program, or 1033 Program, the district jumped at the opportunity.

School officials said they wanted the armored vehicle to use for rescue operations. If there’s an active shooter, an earthquake or a fire, the school could use the MRAP to rip down a wall, a police captain told inewsource.

Students in a high school auto collision and refinishing program painted the MRAP, and the division plans to ...

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Pro-troop charity misleads donors while lining political consultants’ pockets

Move America Forward calls itself the nation's "largest grassroots pro-troop organization," and has recruited a bevy of Republican luminaries, including former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney, to support its efforts.

Yet a ProPublica examination of its fundraising appeals, tax records and other documents shows that Move America Forward has repeatedly misled donors and inflated its charitable accomplishments, while funneling millions of dollars in revenue to the men behind the group and their political consulting firms.

Read the story here.

Racing company pocketed money pledged to military-related charities

When Spartan Race, an international obstacle course-racing company, launched a “Special Ops”-themed race in Tampa, it promised donations to local non-profits as a method of marketing. But months later, WTSP-TV found the race, which cost between $70 and $100 to enter, donated less than 40 cents per person to non-profits in dire need.

The station found that "the primary beneficiary, the SOCOM Care Coalition, received a check for just $2,486. That's less than 47 cents for every one of the 5,312 runners who finished the race; less than 33 cents for every one of the 7 ...

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When drones fall from the sky

"More than 400 large U.S. military drones have crashed in major accidents around the world since 2001, a record of calamity that exposes the potential dangers of throwing open American skies to drone traffic, according to a year-long Washington Post investigation.

Since the outbreak of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, military drones have malfunctioned in myriad ways, plummeting from the sky because of mechanical breakdowns, human error, bad weather and other reasons, according to more than 50,000 pages of accident investigation reports and other records obtained by The Post under the Freedom of Information Act."

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Extra Extra Monday: Fatal flaws in Oklahoma’s execution system, absent city council members, teacher misconduct

Fatal Flaws: How Oklahoma’s lethal injection process went wrong | Tulsa World

Nearly 15 years after Stephanie’s murder, Lockett lay dying as her family watched along with a gallery of law enforcement officials, prison administrators and journalists through the window of Oklahoma’s execution chamber.

State officials had promised in court records and interviews that Oklahoma’s new execution protocol would dispatch him swiftly and painlessly. They were so confident in this assurance that Gov. Mary Fallin ordered Lockett to be executed April 29, the same night another convicted killer was set to die.

Lockett’s death didn’t ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Nebraska releases prisoners early; Koch brothers hold secret summit; Missile defense system proves unreliable

$40-billion missile defense system proves unreliable | Los Angeles Times

The Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, or GMD, was supposed to protect Americans against a chilling new threat from "rogue states" such as North Korea and Iran. But a decade after it was declared operational, and after $40 billion in spending, the missile shield cannot be relied on, even in carefully scripted tests that are much less challenging than an actual attack would be, a Los Angeles Times investigation has found.

The Missile Defense Agency has conducted 16 tests of the system's ability to intercept a mock enemy warhead. It has ...

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VA executives received $100M in bonuses as problems mounted

Executives and employees of the troubled Veterans Affairs health system enjoyed over $100 million in bonuses, according to the Asbury Park Press.

The federal government warned the VA in the past about the growing issue of excessive patient wait times and its detrimental effect on the health care system. Still, VA executives and employees received $108.7 million in bonuses over the course of three years.

Since 2005 more than a dozen reports have been released showing the negative impact of patient wait times at both the national and local levels. The VA said more than 57,000 veterans waited ...

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How the VA developed its culture of coverups

The resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki isn’t likely to fix systemic problems at the beleaguered agency, the Washington Post reports.

The VA’s “towering bureaucracy,” once designed to prevent mismanagement and corruption, ultimately allowed it to hide its problems from senior staff.

Scheduling clerks were told to “zero out” wait times. In Phoenix, for instance, official data showed veterans waited an average of 24 days for an appointment. In reality, the average wait was 115 days. Reporter David Fahrenthold explains:

This is how it worked: A patient asked for an appointment on a specific day. Turner ...

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